Sundays With Rae

a blog for women by a woman who is trying to get her life together while still loving Jesus

Halfway There

Believe it or not, we’re almost halfway through 2020. With everything going on, it certainly feels like we’ve been in 2020 longer than six months. Never in a million years could I have imagined that we would be where we are when I wrote down my goals for 2020. From pandemic to protests, these past six months have not been for the faint of heart. But even with so much going on, you are here! You are alive and breathing, and that’s worth celebrating.

At the beginning of every year, a lot of people set goals for the year. Some call them new year’s resolutions, some call them a vision board, some call it a plan, and for some it’s just some stuff they want to get done. Whether it’s lose weight, write more, read your bible, go to church, go to therapy, start your business, eat better, draw more, get a new job, meditate, save more, whatever it is, I’m encouraging you to revisit it. You may have had more time or less time these past three months to accomplish your goals, just know there is still time. We have no idea what tomorrow holds but choose to do something towards your goals today.

One of my goals for this year was to read ten books. I certainly have had more time to get this done but I realized today it’s been a month or so since I finished my last book and I still have six more books to go. So I’m going to choose a book today and continue pursuing that goal. It’s that simple. Just because you’re not where you thought you would be this time of year, doesn’t mean you can’t get there. I know you paid for that gym membership and the gyms closed; start walking around your neighborhood or find some workouts on Youtube that you can do at home. I know you started saving money, then you got let go; even if it’s two dollars from that unemployment check, save that. I know you were set to launch that business and now everything is at a standstill; keep networking and promoting yourself.

When I played basketball, during halftime if my team was down, my coach would always say, “we have another whole half to go. We can do this.” You have another whole half to go. You can do this. We’re only halfway there.

Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ

 

June 2020

Filling Time With Feelings

I recently told someone it’s been May 20th the past couple of days in my world. Time has become such a fluid concept for me (which I’m sure my bosses did not appreciate considering I had deadlines to meet). However, as a child, I was obsessed with time. I wore ugly sports watches well into high school because I always wanted to know what time it was. Now, it just doesn’t seem to be that important. The days come and go. I’ve had really great days and other days, not so much. I’ve talked to friends a lot more than I usually would have. I’ve stayed up way past my bedtime most nights. I’ve read books. I haven’t written as much as I’ve wanted to. I’ve cooked (yes, me, I cooked). I’ve done bible plans. I’ve exercised. I’ve loathed video conferences. I’ve cried. I’ve taken breaks from social media and the news. I’ve prayed. I’ve laughed. I’ve done a whole lot since the world took a “kind of” pause but I’m realizing through writing this, that I’ve let a lot of time just go by.

Some days I’ve been really intentional. Sometimes I intentionally rested and sometimes I intentionally completed tasks, but I haven’t had enough of those intentional days. With that in mind, I’m going to do more to fill my time with things I set out to do (being intentional) instead of just going to bed at 4am, clueless as to how it got to be so late and unsure of what I’ve done with the day (being lazy). That may look like me sleeping in until noon some days and other days getting up at 8am (probably not going to do much earlier than that unless I’m highly motivated). That may look like reading a book for four hours or binge watching “A Different World.” That may look like praying/mediating for an hour or listening to music while playing Candy Crush Soda Saga. That may look like doing a video call with my college friends or harassing my younger sister about whatever comes to mind. That may look like writing about everything and nothing or looking up recipes I’m not going to make. And that may still look like, “today we’re going to just see what happens,” sometimes. We don’t all have to start a new business or become fitness gurus (shout out to those of you who did though; I can’t tell you how proud I am to call y’all friends!) but we all have to be responsible for what we do with our time. I want to fill my time with things that feel right for me. I want to look back and be able to say time did not pass me, but I decided how I passed it.

As in control as I thought God was, this whole pandemic has shown me just how true that is. He is working things out for good, and even after we get to our new normal, I always want to fill time with feelings.

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

May 2020

From the Front Line

Whether or not we like it, we are all being affected by this pandemic. We do not have to know anyone personally who’s been infected by the virus or even died from it to feel its impact. We know we wash our hands more frequently and we wear masks everywhere we go and we can’t go and sit down anywhere outside of our homes to enjoy a meal. These slight inconveniences start to add up and can become overwhelming at times. We just want to go back to life as we know it but for too many, there is no such thing. COVID-19 has taken parts of them, they will never get back. I am grateful to have friends who risk their lives and well-being as they do their best to save others in a number of ways. Each of their perspectives helped me to complain a little bit less, knowing that although some states are opening some businesses, there are a lot of people still suffering.

 

 

What’s the most heartbreaking part about this pandemic?

The most heartbreaking part of this pandemic has been seeing these patients suffer and have no one there with them. Families talking with their loved ones through a phone, saying goodbye through FaceTime. It breaks your heart. – Jenn

The most heartbreaking part of this pandemic is seeing people die alone. At the most, we will set up FaceTime or something to let families see their dying loved ones. But for quarantine reasons no visitors are allowed in with patients who have the virus. – Ramone

The most heartbreaking part of this pandemic is the older people that are in lock down in the retirement homes in the city that I work in. Almost all of these people don’t have a lot of family in the area because they are snowbirds and can’t return home and their families can’t visit them. We offer free delivery at my company, but we don’t deliver over-the-counter items so for a lot of the residents, it’s hard for them to get supplies and you can hear the desperation in their voices. Even the delivery driver is scared to deliver to these retirement homes because one of the locations had a case. – Susan

One of the most heartbreaking aspects of this pandemic is hearing about and seeing families who have lost loved ones but were unable to attend their funerals or have optimal support during this time due to social distancing guidelines.  It is also extremely difficult to watch people and their families suffer due to not being able to work or provide the level of income necessary to sustain their livelihood at times where depression, uncertainty, and anxiety already have strongholds over their lives. – Anthony

What is most frustrating?

The most frustrating thing is people not taking this seriously, rushing for things to be “back to normal,’ thinking it’s fake news. They are not here at the bedside seeing these people struggling to breathe, flipped on their bellies to allow their lungs more space to expand, on multiple lifesaving medications, and people think it’s a hoax. I wish they could be in our shoes. I’d love to be at home ‘bored” instead of being paranoid 24 hours thinking that I could possibly get my husband or my son sick. – Jenn

The most frustrating thing is seeing all these protesters claiming this is an overreaction or hoax. Some say, “my body, my choice.” Truth is, it isn’t just your body; it’s an entire population safety concern. If it is “American” to only care about yourself, then I don’t want to be American. – Ramone

The most frustrating thing is the misinformation in the media. There was this whole drug regimen of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin that was a potential cure for the virus. It has no substantial evidence proving that it was effective. It got to the point where we couldn’t order hydroxychloroquine from our wholesaler. They put a hold on the drug. It really affected people who were on it for other medical conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. We had to limit these patients to 2 weeks supply. – Susan

An area that continues to frustrate me as a responsible member of society is the misinformation, politicization, and polarization of a world crisis that has severe crippling effects at a time where unification and compassion are most needed to build resiliency.  It is a daily struggle to help people cope and stay grounded when any time they attempt to amass hope, it is met with confusion from the national and local levels. – Anthony

How have you been personally affected?

My love language is physical touch. [And it’s been difficult] being unable to hug and kiss my family as much as I want to because I’m afraid of getting them sick. [My son and husband] have asthma, so I have to be extra careful and more cautious than most. I have nightmares now and trouble sleeping. It’s mentally and physically exhausting. – Jenn

It’s very difficult to complain since I am lucky enough to still have a job and income. It’s heartbreaking to see what nonessential workers are going through. Yes, it personally sucks to come home to an empty apartment and have very little interaction with the outside world aside from phone calls and FaceTime. I turn 30 next week but unfortunately it won’t be anything more than a small celebration to myself. – Ramone

I just miss the simple things like going out to eat, walking around the mall, seeing my sister. She has asthma and since I work with the public she doesn’t want to be around me. – Susan

Both my aunt and grandmother are in the hospital struggling with the virus at the moment to which we have found different ways as a family to connect, support each other, and yet feel helpless all at the same time. – Anthony

Have there been any highlights?

Our patients are doing better and recovering faster than the national average. We were able to flatten the curve in my state because residents came together and took necessary precautions. We have a bomb ass governor who quickly took action. – Jenn

The highlight of my day is seeing how the non-medical and medical community have really come together through all of this. There is a level of comradery we have not seen before. Local restaurants often cater food to support front line workers. Everyone is doing the best they can in a difficult situation. – Ramone

I am so grateful to still have a job and that my routine hasn’t been interrupted that much. – Susan

There have been quite a few positive takeaways from this crisis as people have found unique ways to come together against a common threat.  Families have had opportunities to bond and share in experiences that they have probably not shared in a while or for that matter at all in their lifetime. I have noticed even in my own neighborhood families walking together, walking their dogs, speaking to their neighbors, and others acts of kindness at places like the grocery stores.  People have also been more open to seek out therapy services as well as engage in online sessions due to relaxed tele-mental health guidelines, which has allowed for individuals and families to access increased mental health services from their own homes thereby decreasing significant barriers.  – Anthony

Colossians 3:14-15 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. (NLT)

Pause in the Plan

Guess who doesn’t have to go to work until further notice? Me, I don’t. Of course I’m beaming with excitement! I thought I would get a day or two but it’s going to be at least a week, probably two. As a single person with no kids who will still be getting paid, this is honestly like an early Spring Break for me. We’ll probably have to make up some of the time, but I’ll deal with that then. In the midst of my joy, I realize what I’m considering a vacation, for many it’s a disruption in their life they didn’t see coming and they don’t know how they’ll recover.

Their kids are out of school, but they have to go to work. They don’t have to go to work but they’re also not getting paid. One of their family members is sick and they have to take care of them. Appointments they’ve had for months have been canceled because offices are closed. Events they have been looking forward to are no longer happening. Trial dates have been postponed. They have no idea what their tomorrow will be. It’s like everything has been put on pause.

We’ve all experienced a pause in our lives, maybe not to this degree, but in some way or another, things don’t end up going the way we think they will when we think they will. We wait. And we hope. And we pray. This is the trying of our faith. Can we really trust God? Will He really see us through? Did we hear Him right? Yes, yes, and yes! This pause doesn’t mean the plan won’t come to fruition and it doesn’t mean it won’t be difficult but know that God is working it out. There is a grand scheme of things we are not privy to. It’s easy for me to say all these things while sitting in the position I’m in but trust me when I say there have been so many moments when I didn’t believe, and I desperately wanted to. God is faithful, He always has been and always will be. Lean into Him through this pause and know that you’re coming out on the other side.

Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

February 2020

To read more about waiting, click here and here and here